What Are Acupoints?
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine theory Qi is the main energy flow that runs through our body. Whenever the flow of Qi is altered or gets blocked up the body will experience pains or aches. The Qi flow is mainly within twelve meridians and these acupuncture points are located on the lines of the Meridian. Acupuncture points are the points at which the Qi rises to the surface of the body. These points are specific points mapped out on the body which if stimulated have an influence on the internal organs they are correlated with. Originally, acupoints were stimulated using the pressure of fingers but have evolved into the use of needles. There are several hundred acupoints throughout the body some of which are more important than others.
The foot for example is a very important body part for acupuncture because it has very many acupoints. The figure below shows the many different acupoints in our feet. Each area represents a different body part.
Acupoints are important because acupuncture cannot be effective if the proper acupoints are not located. Proper knowledge of the body’s acupoints is imperative when practicing acupuncture. Acupoints are 1-2 millimeters apart and being more than a couple millimeters away from the center of the acupoint will result in a minimal pain relief. The more precise the acupoint is targeted the better the treatment will be on the patient. Fewer visits will be necessary with proper acupoint location because treatment will last longer.
The main meridians are the heart, pericardium, lungs, liver, spleen, conception vessel, kidney, large and small intestine, triple warmer, stomach, gall bladder, bladder, and the governing vessel.
The main meridians have lateral and symmetrical distribution on the head, face, trunk and limbs. The six Yin meridians are distributed on the inner side of the limbs and on the chest and abdomen. The six yang meridians are distributed on the outer side as shown in the diagram below.
In addition to this information, the main meridians follow specific time schedule and pathways. Qi is continually circulating throughout the body. Each of these meridians listed below have two, two hour periods which energy flow is at a maximum and then later a minimum flow. The two hour period in which that organ has maximum Qi flow is perhaps the best time to treat the disease in the associated organ system.